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20 steps to a better website >

20[+] Steps to a Better Website

  1. Put together your company’s website task force – with a remit to fix up and maintain the website.

  2. Schedule time into your calendar when the website task force will meet. This should be often at first and then less so as the site moves from fixes to maintenance.

  3. Identify fixes: what needs to be put right, and maintenance: what needs to be kept up-to-date on the website. Things that need to be fixed can be broken down in to critical and non-critical. Critical is things like broken links, changes in personnel, etc.

  4. Your website is the shop window of your company to the world. There is no reason your shop window cannot look better than the biggest players in your industry. So check out competitors' sites and work out a strategy to bettering them in areas you decide: more friendly, better design, more usable, etc.

  5. Do you have a budget? The budget can go on improvements in functionality, professional copywriting and professional imagery.

  6. Is it immediately clear what your company does? If a visitor has to spend time figuring it out, consider them gone. It may be obvious to you, but is it obvious to a layman? Write down a list of 3 things a visitor might want to know about your company. Is it clear on the homepage where to go to find out these 3 things?

  7. Does your site have a clear call to action on every page? A call to action is “buy now”, “contact us now”, “make an appointment”, etc.

  8. Does a visitor visit your site in their freetime, or during business hours? Is your site for amusement, or for information? If it is amusement then you are excused using devices to keep them there. Animations, smiley faces, etc. This is called “eye candy”. Someone visiting a B2B website does not want “eye candy”. In fact animations are likely to irritate them.

  9. Some design tips: black text on white background is easier to read. Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana and Helvetica are default fonts that every browser will have. If your text is not one of these fonts, then make sure it is a graphic.

  10. Put a date script on the homepage which shows today’s date. This will immediately give the impression the site is up to date. If you have something that says this site was last updated on March 3, 2004 – you have a problem.

  11. Consider your text content: is there a lot of lengthy material? Visitors like to skim through content on the web. If you need to put lengthy material on the site, is there a print option? Print option or downloadable PDFs are good practice – so visitors can read the content away from the screen.

  12. Consider your use of photos and graphics: are these from stock, or were they originals? If they are stock then is very possible other sites are using them, even your competitors. If you shot your own photos you may consider getting a professional to re-shoot them. Your website will look miles better.

  13. Identify your competitors sites. Compare them to yours. Be honest. What are they doing right, and what are you doing better? Refer back to your competitors regularly. Competition makes for better results.

  14. Appoint a webmaster – put their email address on the website (webmaster@yourcompany.com) and encourage visitors to report problems or mistakes.

  15. Does your site use case studies or testimonials? Research shows that visitors respond better to case studies and testimonials than other types of content.

  16. How old is your most recent news, or other latest content? A good rule of thumb is: don’t expect visitors to return to your website since your last update.

  17. Consider is your website there to provide due diligence for your business – so potential customers can check you out? Or, do you expect your customers to visit on a regular basis (for updates, latest news, promotions, etc.) Then cater to the need.

  18. Monitor your traffic analysis. What pages do visitors go to the most? Perhaps you should pay more attention to these pages.

  19. Does your site have meta-tags so search engines and directories can index it? Check your source code and change your meta-tags at least every 6 months. Better if it is every month. When your site is re-indexed it usually appears higher in the search engine list.

  20. Do you encourage people to visit your website? If not, this suggests you have something to hide. Go back to 1. and start that website task force.

  21. (BONUS) Call Spin and make an appointment. We will audit your site and give practical advice for improving it.